South Australia Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure

The New Rules

Midnight icon
No driving between midnight and 5am

Applies to all P1 Licence holders and Learner motorcyclists* under 25 from 28 July 2014.

THE RULE
No driving between midnight and 5am unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.

*This rule does NOT apply to P2 drivers or motorcyclists under 25 who hold a P2 licence or a full car licence.

Read more about no driving between midnight and 5am.

Passenger icon
No more than one passenger aged 16-20

Applies to all P1 Licence holders under 25 from 28 July 2014.

THE RULE
No more than one passenger aged 16-20 at any time of the day or night (immediate family members exempt), unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.

This rule does NOT apply to P2 drivers.

Read more about no more than one passenger aged 16-20.

L Plate icon
Hazard perception test for learners

Applies to all Learner's Permit holders from 28 July 2014.

THE RULE
If you are going to apply for a P1 licence on or after 28 July 2014 you will need to first pass the Hazard  Perception Test (HPT).

If you got your P1 licence before 28 July 2014, you will  still need to pass the HPT before you apply for your P2 licence.

Read more about hazard perception test for learners.

P Plate
Time on Your Ps

Applies to all provisional licences issued on or after 28 July 2014.

THE RULE
The time you need to spend on a provisional licence will increase from two to three years. This will mean one year on a P1 and two years on a P2 licence.

Read more about time on Ps.

Removing regression icon
Removing regression

Applies to all disqualified L and P licence holders returning to drive on or after 28 July 2014.

THE RULE
Regression to a previous licence stage following a disqualification period will be removed. This will mean that disqualified L and P drivers will return to the licence stage they were at when they committed the offence.

Read more about removing regression.


Midnight icon No driving between midnight and 5am

NIGHT DRIVING RESTRICTION

Applies to P1 licence holders and Learner motorcyclists under 25 from 28 July 2014. This includes anyone who has a P1 licence on 28 July 2014 and anyone who obtains a P1 licence on or after 28 July 2014.

If you hold a P1 licence subject to a curfew condition, on 28 July 2014, the curfew condition will be removed and you will be sent a replacement licence. You will be subject to the night driving restriction whilst you hold a P1 licence and you are aged under 25 years.

This rule does NOT apply to P2 licence holders or motorcyclists under 25 who hold a P2 licence or a full car licence.

Who is a qualified supervising driver?

They could be your mum or dad or someone else that has held a full driver's licence for at least two years without disqualification. They must sit in the front passenger seat and meet drug and alcohol laws as if they are driving. Eg: no drugs and no BAC of 0.05 or more.

More FAQ's

Can I drive if I work night-shift?

Yes. You can drive between midnight and 5am to and from work by taking the shortest, most practicable route or in the course of doing your job.

Can I stop to get food or petrol on the way to or from work?

Yes, as long as you are taking the shortest, most practicable route between home and work.

More FAQ's

THE REASON

All drivers have an increased risk of crashing when driving late at night but the risk is greater for young, inexperienced drivers. Inexperience in night driving as well as fatigue and risk taking are all contributing factors.

The figure below shows the drivers and riders involved in fatal crashes between 10 pm and 5 am as a percentage of all drivers and riders involved in fatal crashes in each age group.

 

Drivers/riders involved in fatal crashes between 10pm and 5am as a percentage of all drivers/riders, South Australia, 2009-2013. Drivers aged 16-19, 30%. Drivers aged 20-24, 27%. Drivers ages 25+, 12%. 

Of the 16-19 year old drivers/riders involved in fatal crashes, 30% crashed between the hours of 10pm and 5am. This compares to 12% of drivers/riders involved in fatal crashes aged 25 or over.

THE RULE

No driving between midnight and 5am unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.

EXEMPTION CRITERIA

  • Driving between home and work or driving in the course of employment.
  • Driving between home and education/training or driving in the course of education/training if you are enrolled with a school, university, TAFE, apprenticeship or other formal training provider.
  • Driving between home and formal volunteer work or driving in the course of performing formal volunteer work.
  • Driving between home and an activity to participate  in sports, artistic, charitable, religious or scientific activities provided by an organisation, association or club.

NOTE: You must take the shortest most practicable route between home and the activity. 

Police and emergency service members are exempt from both night driving and passenger restrictions while on duty.

You do not need to apply for an exemption but you must be able to satisfy police that you meet the exemption criteria. Read more about exemptions.

What if there is an emergency?

If there's a medical emergency, call an ambulance. Driving another person to the hospital places you under greater pressure and may also put others in danger.

More FAQ's

PENALTIES

Offence (NOTE: Penalties effective from 1 July 2015)Expiation feeDemerit points
Driving between midnight and 5am$3353
Driving with more than one passenger (16-20)$3353
Driving with no visible P-Plates$3352


You must not gain 4 or more demerit points during the provisional licence period. $60 Victims of Crime Levy also applies.

Back to top


Passenger icon No more than one passenger aged 16-20

PASSENGER RESTRICTION

Applies to P1 Licence holders under the age of 25 from 28 July 2014.

This rule does NOT apply to P2 drivers.

Who are immediate family members?

Your brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, step-parent, guardian, step-grandparent, spouse, domestic partner, child or a person related to you according to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander kinship rules.

More FAQ's

Can I drive my friends to school?

Yes, but only one friend aged between 16 and 20. In addition, you could take your brother and/or sister because immediate family members are exempt.

More FAQ's

Who is a qualified supervising driver?

They could be your Mum or Dad or someone else that has held a full driver's licence for at least two years without disqualification. They must sit in the front passenger seat and meet drug and alcohol laws as if they are driving. Eg: no drugs and no BAC of 0.05 or more.

More FAQ's

THE REASON

Young drivers are four to five times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash when they have two or more peer-aged passengers. Carrying peer-aged passengers can distract a driver and also encourage a young driver to take greater risks.

The figure below shows the drivers involved in fatal crashes with 2 or more  passengers in the vehicle as a percentage of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in each age group.

 

Drivers involved in fatal crashes with 2 or more passengers as a percentage of all drivers, South Australia, 2009-2013. Drivers aged 16-19, 25%. Drivers aged 20-24, 21%. Drivers aged 25+, 12%. 

Of the 16-19 year old drivers involved in fatal crashes, 25% were carrying two or more passengers at the time of the crash. This compares to 12% of drivers involved in fatal crashes aged 25 or over.

THE RULE

No more than one passenger aged 16-20 at any time of the day or night (immediate family members exempt), unless a qualified supervising driver is seated next to you or you meet the exemption criteria.

EXEMPTION CRITERIA

Requirement to carry passengers in the course of employment.

NOTE: Passenger restriction exemptions are Not available for any other activities, including education/training, volunteering, sports, artistic, charitable, religious or scientific activities.

Police and emergency service members are exempt from both night driving and passenger restrictions while on duty. 

You do not need to apply for an exemption but you must be able to satisfy police that you meet the exemption criteria. Read more about exemptions.

PENALTIES

Offence (NOTE: Penalties effective from 1 July 2015)Expiation feeDemerit points
Driving between midnight and 5am$3353
Driving with more than one passenger (16-20)$3353
Driving with no visible P-Plates$3352


You must not gain 4 or more demerit points during the provisional licence period. $60 Victims of Crime Levy also applies.

For more information call 13 10 84.

Back to top


L Plate icon Hazard perception test for learners

Applies to all Learner's Permit holders from 28 July 2014.

THE RULE

If you have a Learner's Permit and you are going to apply for a P1 licence on or after 28 July 2014, you will need to first pass the Hazard Perception Test.

If you have a P1 licence that was issued before 28 July 2014, you will need to pass the HPT before applying for a P2 licence.

 

THE REASON

The HPT is currently a requirement to graduate from P1 to P2. From 28 July 2014 the HPT will come earlier in the licence process so that it becomes a requirement to graduate from a learner's permit to a P1.

The HPT is a computer-based test to assess the driver's ability to recognise dangerous situations and to react safely.

Click here for more information about the Hazard Perception Test including:

  • the most common crash types for provisional drivers
  • how to book a HPT
  • practise the test online.

Back to top


P Plate Time on Your Ps

Applies to all provisional licences issued on or after 28 July 2014.

If you got your P1 licence before 28 July 2014, you will continue under the current system and be required to stay on your Ps for a minimum of two years (a minimum of one year on P1 and a minimum of six months on P2). You will need to pass the HPT before applying for a P2 licence, however the HPT may be undertaken at any time, provided you have held your P1 licence for at least 12 months. However, if you are disqualified and return to driving on or after 28 July 2014, you will be issued a new provisional licence. If you are returning at the P1 stage, you will need to hold your new provisional licence for three years (one year on P1 and two years on P2), or if you are returning at the P2 stage you will need to hold it for two years. In this case, the HPT is no longer a requirement to progress from P1 to P2.

THE RULE

The time you need to spend on a provisional licence will increase from two to three years. This will mean one year on a P1 and two years on a P2 licence.

THE REASON

Extending the provisional licence period extends the length of time that a driver is subject to provisional licence conditions that help to keep young drivers out of high risk situations and is likely to result in fewer crashes. The extension applies to the P2 licence period when drivers do not have to display P-plates and they are not subject to the passenger and night driving restrictions. This will result in the minimum age at which a driver can obtain a full driver's licence raising from 19 to 20 years.

Back to top


Removing regression icon Removing regression

Applies to all disqualified L and P licence holders returning to driving on or after 28 July 2014.

THE RULE

Regression to a previous licence stage following a disqualification period will be removed. This will mean that disqualified L and P drivers will return to the licence stage they were at when they committed the offence.

THE REASON

Regression laws meant that L and P licence holders who were disqualified were required, after serving the disqualification, to regress to their previous licence stage and re-pass any associated tests. For example: if you were disqualified on a P1 licence, after serving the disqualification period you would return to  a Learner's Permit. 

These laws added complexity to the licensing progress making it difficult for young drivers and their families to understand and there is no evidence to suggest that regression and re-sitting tests leads to safer drivers.

Removing regression will mean that L and P licence holders who are disqualified and return to driving on or after 28 July 2014 will return to the licence stage they held at the time of the offence. For example: If you were disqualified for an offence committed while on a P1 licence, after serving the disqualification period you will be issued a new P1 licence and you will be subject to all the laws and conditions that apply to that licence stage.

Back to top